We’re delighted to announce that Professor Gurminder K Bhambra has been elected as the next BSA President. Gurminder is Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies and Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University of Sussex. As Professor Susan Halford’s successor, she begins her term of office in January 2022.

On hearing the news, Professor Bhambra said,

“I’m very pleased to have been elected as President of the BSA. I’ve been an active member of the Association since the early 2000s and appreciate the work that it does in promoting sociology.

This is an important moment in British, indeed global, politics with the rise of populism and the denial of structural inequalities. The latter have always been a focus of sociology, but it hasn’t always addressed their global dimension and the lasting impact of colonialism and empire. This global dimension has come to the fore in recognition of the historical formation of climate change, the inequality in vaccine distribution, and in the experiences of disadvantaged communities in relation to issues such as air pollution and access to health and other care. These are not simply additional issues for sociology to address, but also issues that require fundamental rethinking of the discipline and the role of universities.

My own route into sociology was not straightforward, although, as I have come to realise, being the daughter and granddaughter of railway workers made it a much more likely prospect!

Certainly, many postwar British sociologists seem to have been sons of railway workers. Growing up in Southall – both one of the most deprived areas of London, and the country more generally, and one of the most multicultural – has given me a keen perspective on issues of socio-economic inequality and the ways in which these are refracted through the legacies of Britain’s colonial histories.

I look forward to taking over from Susan Halford and continuing her work and that of the Association.”

Professor Bhambra’s term of office commences officially on 1 January 2022 and will run until 31 December 2024.